Story of Justice: Sonya Survives Domestic Violence
After a few years of relationship, Sonya’s* boyfriend Tom* started becoming verbally abusive. The repeated verbal abuse turned physical in May 2020, when after a discussion, Tom grabbed Sonya by her hair, threw her to the ground, and stomped on her cell phone when she tried to make a call. At the first chance she had, Sonya ran to her neighbors’ home to call the police. While Sonya was at her neighbor’s home, Tom managed to shut their own mobile home’s water supply off with a lock.
When the police finally came, they arrested Tom and had to return the next day to break the lock Tom used to cut off the water supply. Sonya was terrified by the incident and reached out to Coast to Coast Legal Aid of South Florida (CCLA) seeking legal assistance. With the assistance of CCLA, Sonya filed a Petition for Injunction Against Domestic Violence (restraining order) at the Broward County Courthouse. The Court granted Sonya a Temporary Injunction for Protection Against Domestic Violence and scheduled a hearing on the Petition. Unfortunately, in the meanwhile, Tom continued to harass and stalk Sonya.
At the hearing, CCLA presented an array of convincing arguments to the judge, which resulted in the entry of a Final Judgment of Protection Against Domestic Violence. This judgment allowed Sonya to feel safer and move past Tom into the next chapter of her life. Nevertheless, after years of domestic abuse, Sonya was left stranded with debt, no savings, no car, and unable to work due to the COVID 19 pandemic. This created a snowball effect leading to getting an eviction notice from her landlord. CCLA was there to assist Sonya again through this second challenge. CCLA represented Sonya in her eviction matter, leading to the landlord amending its complaint and agreeing to allow Sonya a voluntary dismissal without prejudice. CCLA referred Sonya to a local domestic violence shelter where she received victim relocation funds to assist with her move.
Why It Matters
Without CCLA’s representation, Sonya may have chosen not to follow through or may not have been successful in court. CCLA’s assistance in both matters allowed Sonya to relocate safely, without debt, and with the confidence of her Final Judgment of Injunction for Protection Against Domestic Violence. Sonya is very relieved to start a new chapter in her life. She found a part-time job and purchased a car.
*Names and images have been changed to protect the privacy of our clients
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